Google’s Arts & Culture team is today launching a new online experience that lets users virtually walk the Great Wall of China. The “Walk the Great Wall of China” experience includes an exclusive 360-degree virtual tour of one of the wall’s best-preserved sections, including 370 images of the Great Wall in total and 35 stories that go into architectural details about the landmark.
“As the largest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic and popular heritage sites anywhere. Over 10 million people visit each year—but not everyone has the opportunity to see the Great Wall first-hand,” Pierre Caessa, Google Arts & Cultures program manager, said in a blog post. “Today, in collaboration with renowned Great Wall expert Dong Yaohui and curators from Gubei Water Town, Google Arts & Culture presents a new theme page enabling people to visit the Great Wall virtually.”
The experience gives users the chance to learn more about the Great Wall’s history and experience parts of it that might be otherwise hard to access. It also aims to give users a better understanding of how the Great Wall is being preserved for future generations.
The virtual experience includes a panoramic view of the wall, along with 360-degree views of the watchtower and different sections of the wall. Users can also learn more about how and when the Great Wall was built.
For those who want to delve even deeper into the history of the Great Wall, you can decode the walls and bricks along the wall. For instance, you can get a closer look at hidden signatures, stamps and mysterious patterns carved on the bricks.
Google has launched numerous 360-degree virtual tours over the past few years and continues to leverage the technology. Back in 2016, the search giant rolled out a virtual experience that allowed users to explore U.S. national parks. Since then, the company has launched similar virtual tours but has also looked at using virtual reality in different ways. For instance, Google launched a virtual reality art gallery in 2017 and also released a “Tour Creator” tool in 2018 to let students create their own VR tours.
To try out the new experience yourself, you can visit the website “Walk the Great Wall of China,” or download the Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS.
Originally published by TechCrunch